Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to influence the 2016 election cost the government about $6.7 million in Mueller's first four and a half months in office, according to a report released by the Justice Department on Tuesday.
It is likely that Mueller's investigation could last for years, according to an analysis of previous special counsel probes conducted by the data analysis website FiveThirtyEight. An additional $3.5 million was paid out by the Justice Department to support the investigation, though the special counsel's office said money would have been spent on ongoing probes anyway, even if Mueller had not been appointed. "The expenditures for this period totaled $3,546,000, which approximates expenditures the components would have incurred for the investigations irrespective of the existence of the SCO". Reports last week said the special counsel had removed a veteran Federal Bureau of Investigation agent from his team for sending anti-Trump text messages. The report covers from May 17, the date of Mueller's appointment, through September 30, the end of the federal fiscal year.
Equipment acquisitions marks the second-highest expense, coming in at more than $733,000, followed by costs for rent and utilities, travel and transportation, and contractual services. The independent counsel spent more than $60 million over the course of that six-year inquiry into then-President Bill Clinton.
The Whitewater investigation, which lasted much longer, was more costly.
In addition, Manafort and his longtime business associate, Rick Gates, are now facing several felony charges brought by the special counsel's office.
A day later, the DOJ announced that former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents during the investigation about his contacts with three individuals said to have had connections to the Russian government.
Trump has in the past taken aim at Mueller's hires, highlighting some team members' political contributions to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton.